Country music often thrives off despair. One of this year’s best albums, Jamey Johnson’s That Lonesome Song, dives deep in the depths of it. Other best-selling 2008 country albums, like Alan Jackson’s Good Time, for example, are more carefree on the surface, but less certain if you listen closer. I won’t say that Trace Adkins’ X, his tenth album, has no worry or loneliness in it, sure it does.
The album's best track is easily "Til the Last Shot's Fired," written by Rob Crosby and Doug Johnson. It's an antiwar song from the point of view of the ghosts of soldiers who served in the Confederacy, on Omaha Beach during WWII, in Vietnam, and in Afghanistan. Its dobro, acoustic guitars, brushed snare, and gorgeous choral arrangement at the end make it stand out from the pack, not just on this set, but from contemporary country in general.